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The Marvel Universe Is Set

To Save The Phoenix Metro

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Black Panthers, Black Widows And She-Hulks, Oh My: The Marvel Experience Brings One-Of-A-Kind Technology And The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Together For A Once In A Lifetime Superhero Extravaganza At Salt River Fields


By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

Nov. 18, 2014 — The Marvel Experience, a one of a kind, augmented reality, superhero experience, will be opening its doors at Scottsdale’s Salt River Fields on Dec. 19 and running until Jan. 3.

To put it in a perspective that super-hero fans might understand, it will likely be akin to the debut of Spiderman in 1963.

Maybe not, but regardless, the event will surely strike another blow against the Phoenix metro’s seemingly undying reputation for being nothing but a desolate heat-island full of racist morons where “nothing cool ever happens.” Because according to The Marvel Experiences CEO Rick Licht this is going to be, “very cool.”

The Phoenix metro is not just one stop on The Marvel Experience tour. No, Scottsdale is the launch city for the Marvel experience, and comic book fans in the Phoenix metro will be the first civilians to gaze upon the one of a kind structures, and  to test their medal on the Marvel Experience.

“We decided if we weren't going to launch in New York or L.A. we wanted to find a city who would embrace what we are doing. I used to work for athletes in Scottsdale, and the energy, enthusiasm, sense of community, and  everything about Phoenix seemed perfect to me as a place to open,” said Licht.

The event features domed structures to create an indoor atmosphere to house the modern entertainment elements.

“We have seven massive domes we are going to be building in Phoenix and within the domes there will be an experience like you have never seen,” said Licht. “It’s the only traveling 4D motion ride in the country with fully moveable chairs.”

He said the the Marvel Experience is comparable to the Universal Studios ride, Star Tours, but bigger. The main dome is 25,000 square-feet, that will feature a 3D adventure, sans glasses.

The creators even went out of their way to keep the event affordable with the cost of tickets being $27.50.

“It’s the kind of thing that makes your head spin,” said Licht. “We got a standing ovation from the crowd at New York Comic Con for the 25 dollar range of the tickets. We had a whole bunch of new friends, people were very excited about that.”

The price of tickets is on par with Phoenix Comicon’s upcoming fan fest, which will be sharing one weekend with The Marvel Experience, and Licht thinks that TME is brining way more value or the dollars.

“If Comic Con is Bruce Banner, than The Marvel Experience is The Incredible Hulk,” said Licht.

He went on to say, “We had to test it at a military grade testing facility. There is stuff happening above you, and behind you, and all around, and the audience experience where you are not all facing the same way which is something we are not at all accustomed too.”

But, according to Licht there is more to the ride than just 4D motion.

He said that The Marvel Experience also features the only stereoscopic 360 degree dome in the world meant for commercial purposes. All the cutting edge technology is meant to make The Marvel Experience distinguishable from every other amusement park ride of it’s kind as an absolute one of a kind “hyper realistic experience.”

“Everything we are doing is taking things to the next level and instead of being a 3D movie where things are coming out at you from the from the screen, it’s like being in the middle of a hologram,” said Licht. “Guests in Phoenix of The Marvel Experience will be a part of the adventure with Wolverine and Captain America and all these other characters, they are  going to be in the middle of the action. It’s not exactly choose your own adventure but when you are going through the experience there is a dozen or more interactive experiences with Black Panther, She-Hulk, Vision, and all the rest of the heroes.”

The spectacular technology is only part of the equation however. Licht and his team did not want this adventure to be like Spiderman 2: Computer effects and explosions, but no depth. Instead, they wanted to follow more of the Iron Man and Avengers models. Packed full of action, but still with characters that exhibit some depth and realism.

“We’ve developed this adventure with Hollywood feature film screenwriters and worked with Marvel to craft an adventure that is entirely unique, first of its kind and you will be in it for two hours or so,” said Licht.

Providing a sneak peek at what the story will be for attendees, Licht said the narrative includes nothing less than saving the Phoenix metro from ruin.

“Something has happened that has gotten Nick Fury’s attention and the good folks at S.H.I.E.L.D., and they've called in the Avengers, Spiderman, and Wolverine, and a half dozen other marvel superheroes. What transpired has actually happened in Phoenix, in your city, which is why we are starting there and Tony Stark is using this technology as well as his skills as Iron Man to set the table for the heros to find out exactly what happened and hopefully with the help of the good folks of Phoenix save the day. Phoenix is central to the storyline. The basic story line is the same for everyone, but everyone will have their own experience, fully immersed in the storyline from beginning to end. In a Marvel movie basically, battling right alongside Black Widow, The Incredible Hulk, and Thor.”

This is not kid stuff either, The Marvel Experience has gone out of its way to to promote specifically to an adult audience. Licht said that their research shows that 60% of the audience for Marvel movies is comprised of people over the age of 25. They specifically designed it for fans who have grown up with the Marvel characters.

But the kids will definitely get a kick out of it as well, he said.

“In the end the goal is to make sure The Marvel Experience is unforgettable for people of any age,” said Licht

Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at
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